Sunday Thoughts

What’s the hardest part of training for an ironman triathlon?  I’ll let you know in a few months. In the mean time, I’m going to attempt to tackle an aspect that is seemingly easy. So easy in fact that I often find myself being distracted and promising myself that I’ll do it later. After all, it’s easy, I can do it anytime.  As I get older, I realize the seemingly easiest things are often harder to do consistently. We force ourselves to workout, we’re conscious about our diet but our minds have minds of their own, especially when we try to concentrate on improving it.

I volunteered at the 2010 ironman triathlon in Arizona, partly because I wanted to experience the event as more than a spectator and partly to get first dibs on signing up for next year’s race, but mostly because I wanted to see the course. I’m a very visual learner. It’s been just over a month and I’ve finished swimming, biking and running the race about 1000 times in my head already. In fact, I’ve won a few hundred. The first age-grouper to do so!

When I’m working out and my veins are pumping acid, I accept the pain. All I picture is the last 100 yards of the event and know that I have it in me to catch that rabbit in front of me. I know the pain subsides and is forgotten moments after I finish. But for those last crucial minutes, I push harder, enjoy the feeling and know that the only organ that is going to get any pleasure from this is my mind. My left knee doesn’t know the jubilation, my right bicep doesn’t jump for joy, just as a guy sitting in somewhere in Bangladesh doesn’t care about me completing this event. It’s all for my mind.

I’ve compiled some pretty good quotations over the years and tend to gravitate toward the ones that have to do with doing more than you ever thought possible. This is the only life we have. Give it all you got. Collect those experiences and set the game up so you win every time. The best and only place to start is in your mind.

Actually swim that lap, but later on that day, swim it again, over and over in your head. Until it’s time for the next exercise. Then do the same for that one. It will only take a minute to do so, but our minds don’t know the difference between something that is vividly imagined and something that actually happens. Get twice or three times the experience, just by thinking about the positive aspects of it.

2 comments to Sunday Thoughts

  • Steven Carey

    AWESOME web page!!!!! I really like the positive feeling I get as I read through your page. There is NO doubt that you will accomplish this goal like so many others you had before this. Best of luck and I look forward to tracking your progress and reading your updates.

    • admin-tom

      Thanks Steve! I’m going to try my best! If I get discouraged, I’ll re-read your comment to keep me going.